Retro Gaming 00’s- Need For Speed: Underground (2003)

When it comes down to high profile racing games from the early 00’s it’s almost impossible to have a conversation about that topic without discussing Need For Speed: Underground from 2003. Need For Speed: Underground was developed by EA Black Box and published by EA Games and was released for multiple systems including PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox and was considered to be one of the best racing video games of ’03. Need For Speed: Underground has a variety of offline game modes including Drifting, Circuit, Knockout, Sprint along with Drag Racing which added to its overall replay value. The car customization mechanic was also something that was praised by many fans and critics as well. While Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 from ’02 was praised by critics NFS: Underground had more game modes opposed to players simply trying to evade the police which made for a worthy successor. However, despite how popular Need For Speed: Underground became many would argue that its sequel NFS: Underground 2 was the best entry in the series as it pertains to the 00’s. Need For Speed: Underground was one of the few high profile racing games that stood out within the 00’s decade along with the likes of Race Driver: Grid, Project Gotham and Forza Motorsport all can with Midnight Club II & III.

The visuals for Need For Speed: Underground looked good for its time and the gameplay seemed balanced especially since a player’s performance depended on how they customized their cars prior to races. Even though, Need For Speed: Underground came out in ’03 some might argue that the game deserved to be remastered between the late 00’s-early 10’s time period for either the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360; seeing how popular the series had become especially during the mid 00’s onwards. Need For Speed: Underground was not quite as popular as NFS: Most Wanted from ’05 but then again it was the first installment within the series to include a storyline within its Career Mode which was groundbreaking at the time. There were stages in the game that looked very impressive considering the fact that they mirrored real-life cities such as: New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco in terms of looks. Need For Speed: Underground was a memorable racing classic from the 00’s; despite not being the most popular game within the series it was still highly successful reaching at least 7 million in sales by ’04.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Gradius V: (2004)

When we think about popular Konami games that came out between the 90’s-early 00’s titles such as Contra III: Alien Wars, Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night, Dance Dance Revolution and others. It seems like most of Konami’s best video games came out during the 99’s which is a statement that many would agree is accurate. However, in the early 00’s we did get to see some cool games that Konami was involved with such as: Silent Hill 2 and Gradius V which were titles that both appeared on the PS2. Gradius V was considered to be the sequel to Gradius IV which was an arcade exclusive in Japan following its release in February 1999. As people know the Gradius series started back in 1985 back when the scrolling shooter of genre was more popular. The side-scrolling shooter genre started to decline in popularity around the mid 90’s onwards and it a bit surprising that Gradius games were still being made between the late 90’s-early 00’s. Gradius V was an arcade line shooter with optimal visuals that allowed both single and multiplayer gameplay. Throughout, the game power-ups can be acquired through destroying enemies in game modes such as Score Attack.

The Weapon’s Array Screen allowed players to choose what type of power-ups they could utilize throughout different levels; players also had the option of customizing the Vic Viper ship using various different weapon combinations which made Gradius V intriguing. As far as sales were concerned Gradius V obviously did not do too well since the scrolling shooter genre of gaming had declined in popularity by the early 00’s. If Gradius V were released a few years earlier sometime around the mid 90’s between the ’94-’97 Time period it could have possibly of been a much bigger attraction than it was on the PS2. As a side scrolling intergalactic shooter game Gradius V was praised by various gaming publications including GamePro & IGN and was seen as game that looked like it belonged in the 90’s decade

Retro Gaming 00’s- Def Jam: Fight For NY (2004)

When we think about some of the most popular fighting games from the first half of the 00’s decade its almost impossible to have a conversation about the topic without mentioning Def Jam: Fight For NY. For those who do not know Def Jam: Fight For NY was developed by AKI Corporation & EA Canada and published by EA Games and was released in September 2004. Def Jam: Fight For NY was the direct sequel to Def Jam: Vendetta which came out in 2003. Def Jam Vendetta was critic acclaimed for mixing the elements of hip-hop and pro-wrestling together while providing players with high quality gameplay cinematic storytelling; these features were greatly approved upon in Def Jam: Fight For New York. Not only was the storyline in Fight For NY almost twice as long as its predecessor but this game also introduced a new boss character named Crow who was portrayed by famous rapper Snoop Dogg and portrayed as the main villain. It should noted that the final boss in Def Jam Vendetta D-Mob returns in Fight For NY along with various new rappers such as Sean Paul, Lil Flip, Omar Epps, Bone Crusher, Bubba Sparxxx and others. We also got to see returning rappers such as Method Man, Ludacris, N.O.R.E., Joe Budden, Redman and others.

In addition, to having more rappers in Fight For NY the game placed more emphasis on fighting styles than that of Def Jam Vendetta. Fight For NY allowed players to either create or choose characters that could have up to three different fighting styles including submission, wrestling, martial arts, kickboxing and street-fighting. We also got to see brand new modes of battle in Fight For NY. Along with the standard battles that took place in nightclubs Fight For NY included parking lot brawls, subway fights cage matches and was probably the first pro-wrestling based game ever to introduce an inferno match. Similar to the original Def Jam game players had a momentum meter that allowed them to utilize their special move once it was filled which take a significant amount of damage from their opponents; in some instances opponents could be KO’ed if their health bar was low enough. The story mode was very intriguing from the start as the main protagonist of the game is an unknown suspect who helps D-Mob escape the cops after being arrested following the events that took place in Def Jam Vendetta. After helping D-Mob escape the cops the unnamed hero must prove his worth to D-Mob by constantly fighting at different venues and winning various nightclubs such as 7th Heaven, Syn Energy Power Plant, Terror Dome and others by defeating members of Crow’s crew.

At some in the game the main protagonist ends up gaining a girlfriend and she is eventually kidnapped by Crow and his crew due him along with D-Mob’s gang becoming a threat within the nightclub scene. In order to save his girlfriend’s life the main protagonist must win back all of the clubs he earned for D-Mob which end up making the player a traitor against his own will in the process. Afterwards, players eventually discover that Crow never planned on letting the player’s girlfriend live regardless after he refused to finish off one of D-Mob’s right hand men Blaze a.k.a Method Man after being brutally ambushed near the end of the story. In end players had to rescue their girlfriend and defeat one of Crow’s right hand men from a burning building before it collapsed before the final confrontation. After defeating Crow in the end the player ultimately ends up aligning himself with D-Mob once again while clearing his name in the process. Def Jam: Fight For NY was quite possibly the best installment within the entire series and arguably the most popular fighting game of ’04. Not only was the storyline in Def Jam: Fight For NY better than its predecessor but the replay value of the game itself was high since there was plenty of unlockable content and characters in general. Despite, appearing on the PS2 & GameCube in ’04 its a bit of a shame that Fight For NY was never remastered in high definition for current generation consoles. Either way, Def Jam: Fight For NY was quite the best non-WWE pro-wrestling game to have been released within the 00’s decade.

Could Midnight Club II have been an attraction for GameCube?

When we think popular racing titles from the 00’s decade there are various titles that come to mind such as Mario Kart: Double Dash, Mario Kart: Wii, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spect, Grand Turismo 4, Race Driver: Grid and many others. While Mario racing games were Nintendo exclusives Grsn Turismo titles were generally games only to be featured for either the PlayStation 2 or PS3. Installments within the Midnight Club series which originated back in late-2000 were mainly published by RockStar Games; as far as third-party racing games were considered games like Midnight Club II from ’03 was almost as popular as titles such as Need For Speed: Most Wanted from ’05. While Midnight II was critically acclaimed by fans following its initial release in ’03 the and the game only appeared for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. If Midnight ClubII appeared on the Nintendo GameCube back in the early 00’s some believe that could have stood out more than it did on the PS2 or Xbox. However, GameCube was not as popular as most of Nintendo’s other game systems and ended up becoming one of the lowest selling consoles that the company had ever produced.

Since its release back in ’01 GameCube had managed to sell slightly over 21 million copies during its lifespan within retail which ultimately ended in 2007. Third-Party games for the most part were better of one the PS2 and RockStar Games has released some of their best titles during the early to mid-00’s time period such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Max Payne 2, Grand Theft Auto: III, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and many others. RockStar Games had a lot of titles that really shined on the PS2 especially considering how popular the console itself was throughout the 00’s decade. Also, as far as storage was concerned in relation to memory cards the PS2 contained up to 128 MB of space while the maximum you could probably get on GameCube was 64 MB. Since Mario & Zelda Games were the main attraction on the Nintendo GameCube throughout the first half of the 00’s PS2 was definitely a better choice for Rockstar Games overall.

Should Persona 3 be remastered for the PS4?

When we think about some of the most popular RPG games from the mid 00’s one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind is Persona 3 from 2006. After Persona 3 was initially released back in July 2006 the game was seen as quite arguably the best RPG of that year. While Persona 3 appeared on the PS2 and the PlayStation Vita there are people who always question why the RPG classic never appeared on the PS3 especially considering the fact that the game console came out in November 2006. A remastered version of Persona 3 never happened and we ended up getting Persona 4 on the PS3 later in 2008. Despite, how popular Persona 3 was following its release it seemed like the success of Persona 4 took on a life of its own; we saw television series along with an animated film for Persona 4 between 2011-2015. Also, Persona 5 which came out back in 2016 was very successful and is one that people argue is one of the greatest RPG’s ever made. More people are looking forward to seeing the release of Persona 5: Royal Edition in future even more so than are to seeing a remastered version of Persona 3.

If Atlus wanted to release a remastered version of Persona 3 many would argue that the company could have done so within the past twelve years. Similar to P4 it should be noted that Persona 3 had its own television series and animated film. Persona 3 also had its own manga along with a intriguing plot involving Gekkoukan High School being infested with Shadows after becoming a tower known as the Tartarus. While the story for Persona 3 was one that was fascinating there is no doubt that P4 & P5 had better plots overall. However, a remastered version of P3 is one that fans of the series would have no problem seeing in the future whatsoever; but as it currently stands Atlus has no plans on making that a reality and it seems like something that is unlikely to happen. Maybe if the fan support for a remastered version of Persona 3 was high enough Atlus would take it into consideration but in the meantime we are anxiously waiting for the release of Persona 5: Royal Edition for PlayStation 4 in March 2020.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Persona 4: (2008)

When many people think about high profile RPG’s from the 00’s decade one of the many titles that instantly comes to mind outside of the Final Fantasy series is Persona 4. For those who do not know Persona 4 was a social simulation RPG that was initially released in Japan in July 2008 before coming to America in December of that year. Persona 4 was released in other countries during the early part of ’09 and appeared on the PlayStation 2 before it was ported to the PS Vita in 2012. The game itself is considered to be one of the most popular installments within the entire set along with the likes of Persona 5 which was released a few years ago during 2016. Persona 4 had a very intriguing plot with the overall tone of the game itself being very dark considering the series of tragic events that players discover towards the beginning of the game. The main character who is named by the player discovers several gruesome murders by diabolical beings know as Shadows that exist within the TV World. Players learn that the Shadow creatures that live within theTV World are a manifestation of negative and repressed emotions of people and are responsible for the horrific events that occur within the game.

Players are able to travel freely between the real world with the help of an ally named Teddie as they eventually rescue other characters such as Rise, Yosuke, Yu, Chie, Yukiko, Kanji who later become playable throughout the game. As players progress through Persona 4 they will come across various unexpected twists and shocking turns that will keep them engaged in the storyline. Eventually, its discovered that the main character’s home room teacher was killed by a student from another school out of boredom which was a big mystery as several murder cases were being investigated. However, Mitsuo Kubo who was the culprit for the player’s home room teacher murder had no part in the demise of other individuals within the game. It turns out that the demise of a television announcer along with another high school student who discovered the body was caused by a police detective named Tohru Adachi. The revelations regarding the murders comes after Taro Namatame is falsely accused of the crimes even though he claimed responsibility for his involvement in trapping Rise, Kanji, Naoto and Yukiko earlier in the game.

Following the boss battle with Adachi things took a really bizarre turn as he becomes possessed by the Japanese God Of Fog known as Ameno-sagiri. We then learn that the fog is lethal to humans since it greatly contributes to their ignorance and ultimately transforms them into shadows. Once players get through the final boss battle Ameno-sagiri retracts the fog from Adachi who then turns himself in for his crimes. One of the cool things about Persona 4 was how the story felt like art imitating life as far as vices of watching too much television is concerned. Also, what was more interesting about the story for Persona 4 was the fact that the setting took place in 2011. Since its release back in ’08 Persona 4 has been critically acclaimed and is seen as one of the best RPG titles of all time. Despite, the Persona see being around since ’96 during the PS1 era gaming it seems like the series has more popular between the late 00’s-mid 10’s with P4 & P5. There is no doubt that Persona 4 deserves a HD re-release for either the PlayStation 4 or PS5 game console because its was definitely one of the best games that Atlus has ever made in general.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Viewtiful Joe: (2003)

As far as anything in relation to action, platform or beat em up genre are concerned one of the few titles of the past that people instantly think about is the original Viewtiful Joe game. For those do not know Viewtiful Joe was released back in the early 00’s for the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 Between 2003-2004. Viewtiful Joe was considered to be a very unique game due to its creativity in relation to the plot taking place between the real world and Movieland. Also, Viewtiful Joe looked like a game that was ahead of its time especially in relation to the visuals because the use of 3D cel-shaded graphics was something that was not too common during the early 00’s. Throughout, Viewtiful Joe players engage in combat and solve various puzzles with abilities given through VFX Powers. Following the abduction of Joe’s girlfriend Silva players learn about Captain Blue’s history as a film creator while helping him survive in Movieland. With the inclusion of various boss battles along with adventurous levels both on land and undersea Viewtiful Joe was arguably one of the most exciting video games to have appeared on the Nintendo GameCube back in the early 00’s.

Since its release Viewtiful Joe has been praised by fans and critics alike and has been often view as a gem to retro gamers who are fans of beat em’ up and action-platformers in general. Viewtiful Joe was released during a time period where 3D action-adventure games along with first person shooters were starting to increase in popularity and was still considered to be success regardless. The original Viewtiful Joe game is often seen as one of Capcom’s most memorable titles of the 00’s decade and arguably the best installment within the series depending on who you ask. The first installment of Viewtiful Joe became so popular to a point where it received its own manga. As far as the Viewtiful Joe series in general is concerned we have not seen a game since the mid 00’s following the release of Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble for the Nintendo DS in 2005. Its highly doubtful that Capcom will develop another installment of the Viewtiful Joe series since its been over a decade since we have seen one. However, if Capcom were to announce the release of a new Viewtiful Joe title in the future it would be something that would definitely turn a lot of heads within the gaming world.

Retro Gaming 00’s – Devil May Cry: (2001)

When it comes down to top action-adventure titles of the early 00’s there are many people who would argue that the original Devil May Cry game very popular on the PS2 following its initial release back in the summer of 2001. The Devil May Cry game from ’01 was where the series got started and it was a game that was interesting to many people due its plot where the main protagonist Dante seeks to avenge his deaths of his relatives. Following a brief encounter with Trish who was another key character in DMC Dante sets out to take revenge on the main antagonist Mundus and is eventually betrayed by Trish despite his trust in her towards the beginning of the game. Even though, Trish had betrayed Dante and supposedly working for Mundus he saves her when dealing with Mundus and vice-versa which something that may have caught some people by surprise when they played the game for the first time.

As far as gameplay is concerned there were various aspects about Devil May Cry that stood out aside from the hack n’ slash combat system utilized throughout the game. The idea of solving puzzles along with the inclusion of the Stylish gauge and the “Devil Trigger” mechanic which allowed Dante to become a demon for a short period of time were all impressive. On top that players were generally ranked on each mission with a letter grade while having the option of engaging in “Secret Missions” as well.

After thwarting Mundus plans to rule earth and defeating him with Dante players had nothing left to do but wait for the direct sequel Devil May Cry 2 which eventually came out in January 2003. Also, since ’01 the original Devil May Cry game was re-released in HD for the PS3 and Xbox 360 back in 2012. In fact, this past year an HD remake of the original Devil May Cry game came out for the PS4 and the Xbox One in March 2018. There is no question that the original Devil May Cry game was one of the best action-adventure titles to have ever been produced by Capcom and remains a classic in the eyes of many people to this day.

The 19th Anniversary of the PlayStation 2!!!!

Today, is a special day in relation to the gaming world considering the fact that that it marks the 19year anniversary of the PlayStation 2 back when it was released in Japan on March 4th in 2000. To this day the PlayStation 2 is still the best selling game console of all-time considering the fact that it has reached over 155 million units worldwide in sales throughout the 2000’s and the early part of the 10’s decade before it was ultimately discontinued back in 2013. Since its release back in 2000 no other succeeding consoles that Sony has developed such as the PlayStation 3, PSP, PlayStation Vita it the PlayStation 4 has not managed come even close to surpassing the PlayStation 2 in sales.

Back in the 00’s we got to see unforgettable classics such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas which ended up becoming the best selling game for the PS2 by reaching over 17 million units worldwide since its release back in late 2004. We also got to see the release of many other big games on the PS2 such Gran Theft Auto III, GTA: Vice City, Gran Turismo 3, Gran Turismo 4, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII and countless other titles that are still popular to this day. There is no doubt that the PlayStation 2 is legendary and there a good chance that it will remain the best selling game console of all-time possibly for the next decade.

Could the PS2 Shinobi game have been more successful on the Sega Dreamcast?

As many people know the Shinobi series was very popular during the early 90’s when various games appeared on consoles such as the Sega Genesis and Game Gear. However, despite how popular the 2D action platform series was back in the early 90’s for whatever reason we never saw a Shinobi game for the Sega Dreamcast between 1998-2001. While it was that video game developer Overworks could have made a Shinobi title for the Sega Dreamcast plans regarding the game’s development did not start until 2001. It was also back in ’01 when the Sega Dreamcast was officially discontinued so we ended up getting a 3D Shinobi title for the PlayStation 2 in 2002.

While the 2002 Shinobi game was well received by fans and critics many would argue that the game could have possibly stood out more on the Sega Dreamcast especially since the console did not have too many big titles to aside from the Sonic Adventure series, Crazy Taxi and Shenmue. The PlayStation 2 had so many games such as Grand Theft Auto III & Vice City along with Gran Turismo 3 & 4 which were best sellers on the PS2. During the early 00’s there was no question that Sony had officially taken the lead during the console wars and the ’02 Shinobi game was definitely the best game console to have it on during that time period.